TROY DROPS AP FOR 1ST PLACE IN CAPITAL
TROY >> Troy High Football is the official first place team in the Capital Division entering the Section 2 Class A playoffs with their 24-12 win over Averill Park Friday night.
With the win, Troy finishes with a 5- 0 conference record. Averill Park takes the second spot with a 4-1 conference record.
“We have got a home playoff game next week against Ballston Spa,” said Averill Park Head Coach Zachary Gobel. “From a mental standpoint are we going to be able to overcome it? I’ve seen this group overcome a lot, they’ve seen a lot go on, so I have a lot of confidence in them.”
Averill Park fight continued to the final whistle, but the Troy defense got off the line very quickly and put pressure on the Averill Park offense.
“We didn’t read things very well,” said Gobel on the outside rush of Troy’s defensive backs. “Tonight was a game that was more mental break down than physical break down. We’re going to be disappointed when we look at the film from that standpoint.”
Xavier Leigh was the stand out offensive weapon for Troy Friday night. Leigh finished with a receiving and rushing touchdown, both of which eclipsed sixty yards on the play. Leigh finished with unofficially 96 yards on the ground Friday.
Averill Park got the offense
going first. Joe Magill broke free of the line and rushed for an impressive 65 yard touchdown. Moments later, Troy responded with a four yard Xavier Ward run to the end zone.
Both early touchdowns had two point conversion attempts that failed. The game was knotted at six after the first quarter.
In the second, Carl Nitz grinded through the line and punched in a one yard run that gave the Warriors a 12- 6 lead with 6:17
remaining in the second quarter.
Nearly two minutes later, Leigh broke for a 67 yard touchdown run, showing off impressive speed and highlight reel footwork dancing his way into the end zone.
Troy scored its third touchdown with under a minute remaining in the first half. Jalen Elbert picked up a loose fumble from a crowd of his Troy teammates and pushed his way a long 55 yards to score six more for the Flying Horses.
The third quarter was a back and forth between two run games running
into stalwart defenses. Averill Park continued to push their run game on the ground, looking for holes in the defense to exploit.
“There was absolutely something in the defense that told me that was going to work,” said Gobel. “You saw what we happened when we executed. You saw what happened when we didn’t execute. You got a picture of both of them.”
It wasn’t until the 11:48 mark in the fourth quarter that the first touchdown was scored in the half.
On a flea flicker play, Warde heaved a deep ball to the streaking Leigh, who caught it mid stride and
finished the 81 yard passing play in the end zone for his second touchdown of the night.
Leigh’s grab made the score 24-12, and that is where it would stand.
Despite the loss, Gobel and the Warriors are confident going into the playoffs.
“We are disappointed in the loss,” said Gobel. “The question we’ve asked ourselves all season is stolen straight from Nick Saban’s speech at the beginning of the year on toughness and it’s, ‘ what will it take to break you?’ I don’t see them being broken. We’ll find out next week, but I don’t see them being broken.”
Xavier Ward taking a hand off from quarterback Alex Wolfe Friday, October 12, at Troy High.
Averill Park Quarterback Anthony Childrose breaks free of the pocket Friday night at Troy High.